Vitiano (2007)

Friday night is finally here. What a busy week. The weather is still warm but there is a wind advisory and we can feel the cooler air moving in. Today was in the 80’s but the weekend high is going to be in the low 60’s.

So tonight I am having a glass of this Umbria blend of Cabernet, Sangiovese and Merlot. The Vitiano 2007 has a nose that is not particularly inviting, in my opinion. But, I have noticed this before with Italian wines so maybe it speaks more to a lack of sophistication on my part than to the actual quality of the aroma. However, I find the nose to be vegetal and musty. It is difficult for me to enjoy the taste of wine when I don’t like the nose. Nevertheless, this wine has good fruit flavor and a strong chocolately finish. It is decent but I probably won’t buy it a second time.

Looking forward to my weekend.

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Vitiano (2007)

Happy Thursday . . .over-the-hump-day! Tom is out of town so I am having a quiet evening and trying to relax after a hectic day.  I worked late and then stopped at Plum’s Market on the way home and picked up a few groceries for dinner. Of course, I couldn’t walk past the wine without looking. I only bought one bottle and this was it. The blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet intrigued me. Good choice, Melody! The texture is soft and the flavors complex. The initial impression is ripe fruit and black pepper.  It took me awhile to nail the finish. . .but happily I did. . .celery! I can’t say that celery is a popular wine-tasting term, but I promise you, it is the perfect descriptor.

So, I grilled a burger for my dinner and had it with my fresh tomatoes from the garden. I have some watermelon waiting for me if I can find the room.

Dona Sophia (2007) and Villa Farnia Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (2008)

Last night we had friends over for dinner. After a lengthy cocktail hour full of good conversation (and perfect gin martinis) we sat down for dinner and some red wine. We drank several bottles, two of which I am listing here. Both were fabulous.

I had prepared a totally organic dinner. For starters, I stuffed a well salted and peppered grain-fed chicken with a lemon, fresh thyme and 5 cloves of garlic.  I put the chicken in my cast iron skillet and drizzled it with olive oil and cooked in a hot, 425 degree oven for one hour. Then, I added carrots and potatoes (from the farmer’s market), more sprigs of thyme and 5 move cloves of garlic to the skillet along with about 1/2 cup chicken broth. Then, I turned down the oven to 350 and let it roast another hour and a half. I also sauteed a pint of pole green beans  (freshly picked), and made a salad with freshly picked lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and onions. So, I think dinner was delicious and healthy. For dessert I served some decadent chocolate cookies that I had prepared earlier in the day accompanied by some lemon sherbet.

I was too busy to write down my wine-tasting notes, but I can tell you that these two bottles of wine were a hit. Fabulous.

Tonight we are having a less-expensive wine that Tom bought on sale at the grocery store. I will blog about it tomorrow night (assuming we don’t finish it tonight). For dinner tonight, I am making a chicken stroganoff made with boneless, skinless chicken strips sauteed in butter, fresh mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter, then, the  addition of a thickened chicken broth and sour cream to simmer. I am going to serve it with buttered noodles, sliced fresh tomatoes and sauteed Swiss Chard. Yummy!

Rosati Barbaresco (2004)

Rosati Barbaresco 2004It is a Monday evening and Tom opened this wine to celebrate! Celebrate what (you may ask)? Well, we’re celebrating the fact that Tom finally figured out why our newly-installed (by him) ceiling fan was making noise. We were getting to the point where we were saying “This fan is really nice. We just can’t use it at night because it keeps us awake.” It clicked and rattled. But, he thinks he has it fixed, now. So, cheers to a quiet ceiling fan!

I purchased this wine because it was “discontinued” and on sale. The regular price for this wine is $40 but it was on sale for $19. So, I wanted to see what a $40 bottle of wine tasted like. Here are my tasting notes:

The color is cherry red (not inky black like many of the wines that I like). The nose is floral and sweet. On the palate, the wine has a velvety texture with not a lot of body (typical old-world Italian, in my opinion). The taste is woody with magnificent tannins. This is a delicious wine and I like it very much. I am glad I was able to try it; I wouldn’t have purchased it at its regular price of $40.

The weather has cooled off a bit since our latest heat wave, so I am making spaghetti for dinner. This wine will complement our dinner perfectly. Can’t wait to fall asleep under our quiet fan. . .

Il Papavero

We have had this Italian red table wine, Il Papavero, before and really enjoyed it. This is delightful; a juicy cherry-flavored  quaff; dark and spicy with ripe fruit and chocolate.

For dinner tonight, I am making baked, spicy chicken, steamed brown rice and vegetables. I also baked some brownies with chopped walnuts. Tom was craving my brownies. . .

We both had busy weeks. Tom was in Montreal on business and I was up north to see my folks and to watch our son, Tommy, play his bass guitar in The Ben Daniels Band at “The Loading Dock” in Traverse City. My 77-year-old mother came with me to the bar; the band started playing at 11:00 p.m. and my mom was as lively as can be. What fun!

I am missing our youngest son, Tony. Hurry home, Tones!

Bella Sera Chianti (2006)

I bought this Italian Bella Sera Chianti at our local grocery store for about $9. I chose this wine tonight to go with our spaghetti dinner. I started the sauce in the afternoon and it has been simmering in my big old cast iron skillet for hours. (There is something about spaghetti sauce in a cast-iron skillet; I am convinced it tastes better that way.) This was my third vacation day and I am loving my time off. I suppose many people would wish for some entertainment for their vacation, however, I just like being home and doing simple things. I really enjoy it.

This wine starts with a spicy nose. The taste is fruity (raspberries) and dry; to me, this is a very typical Italian table wine.  It is light bodied with medium tannins. I would definitely purchase this again and I would save it for our spaghetti nights!